By prohibited, I don't mean things like writing poor quality questions and answers. I also don't mean some of the more obvious anti-social things that would be prohibited almost anywhere, such as abusive/racist/discriminatory behaviour. One last thing I'm also not looking for is just a big whinging and complaining blog.

What I mean are devious behaviours like using "sock puppet" accounts (as I've recently discovered they are called). There are probably a heap of such practices that I'm not aware of. (I suspect what some others might be, but that would be pure speculation, as a new-comer.)

I've spent a number of years occasionally encountering (as an outsider) a useful nugget of knowledge on Stack Exchange here and there, usually as part of a Google search result. At long last, I decided to contribute... and the experience has been a severe eye-opener.

I can now appreciate that that the SE community has sub-cultures within subcultures. Some (I would like to believe most) are true to the ideals of SE, while others seem seriously into the "gaming" or "social-status" side of it.

Rather than encounter the dirty little secrets of SE a bit at a time, I would rather get it all in a dump. That way, I can avoid getting over one disappointment (and developing a coping strategy) only to encounter another. Then, I can move forward with a better appreciation of what not to bother complaining about, what to just have a thick skin about, etc.

I believe most newcomers would probably benefit, in the long-run (if there is to be a long-run for them), from a fuller appreciation of what SE is really like on the inside. Revealing it to them a bit at a time is just like being slowly poisoned.

  • Related: What makes a bad User?. But there is no comprehensive list, and there shouldn't be. Posting a list that includes requirements to wear shoes and a shirt inevitably leads to someone objecting: where's the rule that says I have to wear pants?
    – user259867
    Jul 10, 2015 at 7:32
  • 1
    I'm a little surprised that you'd consider sockpuppetry disapproval unique to SE, since to my knowledge it's frowned on (and often outright banned whenever possible) just about anywhere on the web where it can even be a thing. Jul 10, 2015 at 7:46
  • I'm tempted to try coming up with a list, but since your only concrete example is sock puppets (which as Nathan said are not unique to SE) I'm not sure exactly what you want, and I suspect the list would vary a lot from site to site. Could you add more examples of what you're after?
    – Ixrec
    Jul 10, 2015 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


For almost every subject there is a topic on Meta (or the site specific meta), where we discussed the subject and made an opinion about it. Most of them are put into the FAQ, which eventually is a set of common rules across the network. You can consider this the 'set of rules'.

One of them is a question about duplicate accounts which was closed as duplicate of a FAQ'ed question about sock puppets.

If you search on Meta, read the FAQ, the site's own help center you will most probably find the answer on your questions.

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